Allscripts and Microsoft partner to build new tech for clinical research in the cloud

Healthcare IT News | January 08, 2019

Microsoft and Allscripts subsidiary Veradigm announced a partnership to develop a new product that would help researchers conduct studies via Allscripts cloud-based electronic health record. Allscripts’ payer and life sciences-focused business unit, Veradigm, has been tapped to work with Microsoft to design the integrated research model — expected to run on point-of-care technology platforms, the companies said. The partnership will broaden Allscripts’ cloud-based EHR to include automated “match-making” between study protocols, patients and providers who may qualify for studies. The effort will also include pilot programs to inform the development of the model, the companies said. Allscripts and Microsoft said they are hoping the new product will improve time to market for new drug therapies, thus slashing costs on research and development.

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After extensive research, planning, and visits to other hospitals and the Dräger Design Center, Karlstad Central Hospital replaced its 27-year-old neonatal intensive care unit with a brand-new ergonomic unit of single-family rooms with external corridors for parent access. The new space minimizes the spread of infectious diseases, while enabling caregivers to deliver developmentally supportive care.


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MEDICAL DEVICES

Medtronic announces regulatory approval and launch in Japan of Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System

Medtronic | January 11, 2022

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology,today announced it has received approval fromJapan'sMinistry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the sale and reimbursement of the Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), and the company will launch the product this month. This approval expands the number of patients inJapan– one of the largest markets in the world – who are eligible to receive the Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker. The Micra AV is indicated for the treatment of patients with AV block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricle) are impaired. The Micra TPS is the first-ever leadless pacemaker; its first version (the Micra VR) was approved inJapanin 2017 for patients who only require single-chamber pacing. "Pacemakers have made significant progress over their approximately 60-year history, including miniaturization, improvements in pacing technology, MRI compatibility, and remote monitoring," explainedKyoko Soejima, professor of cardiovascular internal medicine at Kyorin University Hospital and a member of the Micra TPS Global Clinical Trial steering committee. "The first Micra system transformed the concept of pacemakers by eliminating surgical pockets and leads, and Micra AV promises to deliver the benefits of leadless pacing to a larger number of patients because ventricular pacing can be performed synchronously with the atrium." Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called "leads." Identical in size and shape to the original Micra TPS, Micra AV has several additional algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing "AV synchronous" pacing therapy to patients with AV block. The Micra AV approval is based on data from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accELerometer) study, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of accelerometer-based atrial sensing algorithms. The study evaluated the ability of the Micra's internal sensor to monitor and detect atrial contractions and enable coordinated pacing between the atrium and ventricle, thereby providing AV synchrony. "Since introducing the first battery-powered external pacemaker in 1957 to the innovative Micra leadless pacemaker portfolio, Medtronic continues to pioneer pacing innovations for physicians and their patients." Rob Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management business at Medtronic About the Micra Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS) The Micra TPS received CE Mark inApril 2015and U.S. FDA approval in 2016. Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is attached to the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are reduced, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered inDublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Kareo and PatientPops Combined Platform Leveraged by the Perdido Bay Medical Group to Deliver Integrated Care and Grow Business

Kareo | April 04, 2022

Dr. Daniel Spriggs, a long-time Kareo user at his former practices, chose to continue using the integrated platform for his new practice the Perdido Bay Medical Group because of its functionality, familiarity, and ease of use. Dr. Spriggs was previously part of other medical groups, and so he needed to develop a new online identity when he opened his new practice. In the first 60 days following implementation, PatientPop’s solution improved the practice’s visibility online garnering over 1,500 new website visitors. Simultaneously, PatientPop helped solidify 70 new patient reviews with an average of 5 out of 5-star ratings. Improving the practice website’s SEO brought in over 500 organic website connections. “Kareo’s platform has allowed me to create workflows that mimic how I work, making it easier for me to deliver care to my patients. It was still the best choice when it came to a solution for my new practice. Even though I haven’t used PatientPop for very long, it has already improved my website performance greatly by making my brand presence more cohesive and is helping to bring in new patients. It's a tremendous benefit that Kareo and PatientPop have merged because I don’t have to rely on disparate systems which are often confusing, not as fiscal, and don’t deliver the best results.” Dr. Spriggs Kareo and PatientPop announced theymerged in 2021to form Tebra. The combined company’s mission is to equip independent practices with digital tools to deliver modernized care. The all-in-one solution can help providers support and attract new patients, get paid quickly, and operate more efficiently. “Tebra’s all-in-one platform is unlocking better healthcare for small practices to modernize care delivery and improve the patient experience,” Andrea Kowalski, Senior Vice-President of Product for Kareo, said. “Our partnership with the Perdido Bay Medical Group illustrates our ability to tailor solutions to what is most important to our client’s needs. We will continue to enhance and simplify our solutions to drive practice transformation.” About the Perdido Bay Medical Group The Perdido Bay Medical Group is a family medicine practice serving adults of all ages and children as young as four years old in Lillian, Alabama. Experienced family medicine physician Daniel Spriggs, MD, launched the practice in 2021 when he discovered that the Lillian community needed more than the ordinary family medicine practices. The Perdido Bay Medical Group offers chronic disease management, acute illness care, arthritis care, geriatrics, and specialized care for disability and special-needs patients. About PatientPop PatientPopis an industry leader in practice growth technology with a platform that helps thousands of providers promote their practice, attract and acquire patients, and retain them, for a thriving business. The integrated platform eases and enhances the patient journey from start to finish, with a streamlined digital workflow that significantly reduces work for providers and staff. PatientPop has been recognized with many industry awards and accolades, including the Inc. 500, Deloitte Fast 500, Entrepreneur 360, Consumer World Awards, Capterra Shortlist, G2 Leader, and Silicon Review 50 Fastest Growing Companies. PatientPop has headquarters in Santa Monica, California. About Kareo Kareois a cloud-based healthcare technology platform built to meet the unique needs of independent practices in dozens of specialties. Today, Kareo helps over 80,000 providers in 50 states deliver outstanding patient care and run more efficient and profitable practices. The Kareo technology platform helps providers find more patients, manage patient care with a fully certified and easy-to-use EHR, and get paid quickly within a unified, easy-to-use solution. Kareo has received extensive industry recognition, including the2021 Best in KLAS award for Small Practice Ambulatory EMR/PM Solutions, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 5000, and a ranking at the top of Gartner’s Leader Quadrant in the FrontRunners Software Analysis of EHR. Kareo’s headquarters are based in Irvine, California.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Ascensus | April 11, 2022

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—and Newport, the Walnut Creek, California-based retirement services provider—announced today that the two companies have closed their previously announced merger, the first step in their journey together as a combined organization. The union combines the capabilities and talents of two market leaders in tax-advantaged savings and related services, serving more than 15 million savers and overseeing more than $745 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2021. Together, the unified company employs more than 5,400 employees across the U.S. David Musto, president and chief executive officer of Ascensus, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Laura Ramanis, who has served as interim CEO of Newport since the announcement of the transaction last fall, and Kurt Laning, executive vice president of Newport Non-Qualified and Insurance Solutions, will join the Ascensus executive leadership team, reporting to Musto. "With today's announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company. Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development." Musto "Ascensus and Newport share a passion for helping people save for their futures and supporting the growth and success of our partners," said Ramanis. "We look forward to continuing that mission as a combined company." With industry-leading qualified and non-qualified retirement plan services, corporate and bank-owned life insurance (COLI and BOLI) practices, fiduciary and trust solutions, and other total rewards capabilities, Newport expands the services and expertise Ascensus provides to its clients and advisor partners. Newport's clients will benefit from greater access to unique tax-advantaged savings solutions across retirement, education, and health provided by Ascensus. The combined company's investments in technology, digital capabilities, and analytics will deliver enhanced value to clients, expand client relationships, and create even better outcomes for savers. Both the Ascensus and Newport brands remain in use at closing, with the Ascensus brand representing the unified company. "Our goal over the next several months is the successful unification of our company—built on the principle of 'best of the best' and our shared cultural attributes, and executed with the interests, quality, and stability of our client relationships foremost in mind," added Musto. "As a unified organization, Ascensus and Newport share a strong commitment to serving our clients and offering more—across the tax-advantaged retirement, education, and health savings expertise for which Ascensus is known, and capitalizing on Newport's well-established qualified and non-qualified retirement services, and fiduciary and COLI/BOLI capabilities as well." Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Newport in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, SPC Financing Company LLC, and KKR Capital Markets LLC led the financing consortium. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Ascensus and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Ascensus. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Newport. About Ascensus Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is a leading recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. About Newport Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Newport is a leading retirement services provider that helps employers—and the advisors who serve them—prepare employees for a more financially secure retirement. The company has more than $150 billion in retirement assets under administration and more than $300 billion in corporate retirement and insurance assets. Newport maintains investment objectivity, fee transparency and a commitment to flexible, responsive service. Staffed by an exceptional team of nearly 1,500 retirement, insurance, and consulting professionals, the company provides retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers of every size, from small businesses to the Fortune 1000.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

House Rx Secures $30 Million in Financing to Improve the Specialty Pharmacy Experience for Patients and Their Care Teams

House Rx | March 15, 2022

House Rx, a health technology platform focused on improving affordability and patient access to specialty medications, announced it has secured $25 million in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $30 million. House Rx's technology platform and pharmacy service enable specialty practices to offer medically-integrated dispensing, which means patients can receive both their physician and pharmacy care from one team, collaborating on a unified technology platform. Since it launched in March 2021, House Rx has partnered with four medical specialty practices and 30 prescribers in California and Washington. "We have a simple idea: partner with specialty clinics all over the country to enable medically integrated dispensing where the physician, pharmacist, nurses and techs can work together as one team, under one proverbial roof, to improve patient care. Our vision for the future of specialty pharmacy is a more local, more collaborative, and ultimately a more affordable system that leads to much better outcomes for patients." Ogi Kavazovic, CEO and a co-founder Specialty medications, which include treatments for cancers, rheumatic diseases and other chronic and acute conditions, are some of the most expensive drugs available. Unlike infused therapies which are administered in the clinics, the burden of specialty medication access and adherence often falls on patients, who typically need to battle several large bureaucracies to gain access to their medications. These often lead to multi-week delays in treatment and much lower adherence rates compared to medications administered in clinics. Currently, specialty medications are mainly dispensed via mail by a patient's insurance company, not their doctor or a pharmacy a patient chooses. A growing body of research demonstrates that when patients obtain timely access to cancer treatments directly from their care team, they have better outcomes, including improved quality of life and increased survivability. House Rx currently has over 30 employees, who are mostly software engineers and pharmacy operations. In addition to Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Character.vc, and 1984.vc participated in the Series A funding. First Round Capital led the seed round as the initial investor alongside Khosla Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and 1984.vc. The funding from this latest round will go towards continued investments in House Rx's technology platform and scaling pharmacy operations. "The specialty pharmacy market is in much need of a new approach - the current system severely lacks in patient choice and innovation, and we think House Rx's vision for a more modern, more decentralized approach will have incredible impact," said Steve Kraus, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. "Bessemer is proud to back a company with a mission to ultimately make it easier and more cost effective for patients to get the treatment they need." In addition to Kavazovic, the health technology start-up was co-founded by Tesh Khullar, who serves as the company's President. Kavazovic and Khullar are former Flatiron Health executives, where they gained experience working closely with hundreds of oncology clinics. The company's Chief Pharmacy & Operating Officer is Denali Cahoon, PharmD, who is a former executive at Trellis Rx. "The antiquated pharmacy systems developed decades ago inhibit coordinated patient care and increase costs. The current system also prevents patients from choosing where they can get their medically prescribed life-sustaining therapies," said Tesh Khullar, President and a co-founder. "We started House Rx to make the medically integrated dispensing model the new normal in specialty pharmacy. With the right technology, and the right distribution partners, we can re-establish the partnership between physicians and pharmacists that brings a new level of transparency and patient care." House Rx's technology platform helps prescribers and pharmacists collaborate more effectively via one integrated system. Built based on in-depth feedback from pharmacists and physicians, the platform is designed specifically for the management of specialty medication, and includes built-in analytics to enable continuous improvement in operational efficiency and quality of care. The specialty medical practices that have already partnered with House Rx include Care Oncology Center, California; Sarcoma Oncology, California; Arthritis Northwest Washington; and Northwest Medical Specialties, Washington. About House Rx House Rx is a technology-enabled service company focused on making specialty medication more accessible and affordable. We do so by helping clinics dispense specialty medications to their patients in a medically-integrated way using pharmacist expertise and modern technology. By helping physicians and pharmacists collaborate on patient care, we're able to improve patient outcomes, lower the cost of care, and create a better experience for patients and their caregivers.

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Spotlight

After extensive research, planning, and visits to other hospitals and the Dräger Design Center, Karlstad Central Hospital replaced its 27-year-old neonatal intensive care unit with a brand-new ergonomic unit of single-family rooms with external corridors for parent access. The new space minimizes the spread of infectious diseases, while enabling caregivers to deliver developmentally supportive care.

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